A transplanted Southern Californian living in North Dakota, with some insights on life with deaf dogs, a gluten free spouse, and the occasional mischievous garden gnome. Thank you for visiting and I hope you enjoy.



Friday, April 24, 2015

University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

Alycia had a conference in Minneapolis in early April and I accompanied her down to "the Cities" for a long weekend trip.  We had some great food, took some lovely walks along the Mississippi River, and visited the University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum.

It was early April, and the tulips had barely poked out of the ground, so this wasn't an optimal time to visit.  But neither of us had been before, so we considered this a little scouting trip.  In one "lawn/prairie" section there were some tiny flowers blooming, really one of the few things flowering at all. 
Some espaliered Honeycrisp apple trees.  These are trained and pruned to grow flat along a fence line. If space is at a premium in your yard, this is a great technique to train trees and still get the benefits of fresh fruit without sacrificing a ton of yard space.  You can do this with just about any kind of fruit tree, and probably any kind of fence too. 
This was gonna be a lovely place to visit once everything was blooming.

A few of the other things that were blooming at the time - dwarf irises.  We have some similar irises (Siberian irises) on the homestead, and they're usually the first thing every Spring to bloom.
This is a still dormant European Weeping Larch and we're going to get one of these for our yard.  They only get about +/- 6 feet tall and have a weeping habit.

There was a lovely pond and bridge, and walking trails ran through the entire property.  Behind Alycia there was a vigorous Canada Goose fight/gangland rumble going on.  The details of the fight are sketchy, but it was indeed a throwdown if there ever was. 
Your author likes to sport the plaid-on-stripes look.  Alycia thinks it's better than my breathtaking plaid-on-plaid look.   My fashion success benchmark is generally "if no children come up to me and expect to make them a balloon animal", then I know I've dressed appropriately for the occasion.
They had a demonstration of a living roof.
We somehow just missed the maple sugaring season, though it should have been in full swing.  Sap runs in the Spring during warm days and cold nights, which we had unluckily just missed out on.  I was looking forward to some maple syrup tastings. 

This is the maple syrup collection machinery and tubing that runs back up into the woods to collect sap.  It takes about 40 gallons of sap to cook down to a gallon of syrup. 

Even though we missed syrup time and not much was blooming, this was a highly successful scouting trip.  We'll be coming back to the University Of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum at a future date and checking out all the cool plants. 

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